The Heart of Home #3: Introducing the Watershed Wheel

About twelve years ago, a group of like-minded friends gathered by my fireside to reflect upon what it means to live in this place we call home in Dane County, Wisconsin, USA. We chose to think of the Yahara Watershed as our spatial (geographic) scale, and the series of seasonal events that occur in a typical year as the temporal (time) scale. We put a map of the watershed in the center of a large Wheel of the Year, with units of time of going around the outside rim, much like a clock, but using months instead of hours.  We then went round our own circle, each speaking of the defining moments in the natural world and in the lives of people enjoying it throughout the months of a typical year. The artist among us sketched the details onto the Yahara Watershed Wheel that you see here.

This was the beginning of an approach that I now call wheel-keeping that eventually grew into the Wheels of Time and Place a toolkit and set of instructions for making your own circular journal or mandala, using whatever spatial and temporal scales you choose – such as a year, lunar month, day, lifetime, and do-your-own blank shown below.

Of course, you don’t have to keep a journal to explore and appreciate your home place on earth and the home place in your heart. What are the dimensions of home in this moment? What marks of time’s passing do you observe?  The more playful you are with these questions, the more you may feel a part of your home place and committed to co-creating its well-being with others in your community. Welcome home!

Adapted from Cycles of Seasons, Sense of Place by Anne Forbes in The Yahara Watershed Journal, Vol. 2, 1997. Used with permission.

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